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Mills, T. Smith, M. (2015). Metabolizing Difficult Doctor-Patient Relationships: Reflections on a Balint Group for Higher Trainees. Brit. J. Psychother., 31(3):390-400.

(2015). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 31(3):390-400

Metabolizing Difficult Doctor-Patient Relationships: Reflections on a Balint Group for Higher Trainees

Turlough Mills, MBChB, MRCPsych, PGDip and Mike Smith

This paper describes a Balint group in Leeds which, so far as we are aware, is unique in the UK for being aimed at higher level trainees. The paper is written from the trainee's perspective. The experience has been so useful that the group has concluded that this should be an integral part of all higher training schemes. The paper discusses two cases we brought to the group which illustrate some of the challenges faced by trainees at this level of their training. It also aims to inform the reader of the need for such an experience for higher level trainees. The cases presented were experienced by the doctors involved as troubling and disturbing to their sense of self. The Balint group provides a safe environment for discussion of the most disturbing cases, especially those which involve a hard-to-bear countertransference, and as such, fosters ongoing personal development. Standard supervisory models are considered unable to provide such a space. The Leeds group, which is made up of trainees from all specialties, have rated the Balint experience as one of the most important in their professional lives.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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